Khalistan sympathizer Amritpal Singh arrested after dramatic chase

Amritpal Singh was often escorted by armed supporters.

New Delhi:

Amritpal Singh, a self-proclaimed radical Sikh preacher and sympathizer of Khalistan, has been arrested by Punjab police following a dramatic manhunt, sources said. A state police task force comprising personnel from seven districts tracked the separatist leader’s convoy en route to Shahkot tehsil in Jalandhar. Internet will be suspended across the state until 12 noon tomorrow as Amritpal colleagues have started spreading videos like crazy calling on supporters to reach Shahkot.

Unrest was expected and a large police presence was deployed outside Jallupur Khaira, Amritpal’s hometown in the Amritsar region. Police and paramilitary forces have cordoned off the village, sources said.

The state government waited until after the G20 event to take action against him, the source said.

Amritpal leads “Waris Punjab De”a radical group started by actor and activist Deep Sidhu, who died in a traffic accident last February.

Police have closed all roads and erected huge roadblocks in Shahkot because they had been informed of Amritpal Singh’s visit in advance.

The radical separatist leader, who has been active in Punjab for several years, is often seen escorted by armed supporters.

Amripa Singh On February 23, he was at the center of a massive protest against the arrest of his key aide, the kidnapping accused Lovepreet Singh. His supporters, some brandishing knives and guns, broke through barricades and stormed a police station in Ajnala, on the outskirts of Amritsar, demanding police assurances that Lovepreet Singh would be released. He later blamed the violence on Punjab police.

Six police officers, including a superintendent-level officer, were injured in the clashes. Police have yet to say whether an FIR has been filed against Amlipal over the violence.

Responding to today’s police action, Congressman Ravneet Singh Bittu said the “man who used to say he would take up arms for Khalistan today ran away because he was afraid of the police”.

“Has a Sikh ever run away? If he had the guts, he would have faced the police. He was running around the streets like a gidad (a jackal). As I said before, he came to kill our children. He It’s someone from the (intelligence) agency,” he said.

In the face of heated discussions in the state’s opposition parties, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann recently stated that his government is committed to maintaining law and order in the state and will not allow anyone to disrupt the hard-won peace.

Union minister Anurag Thakur attacked the AAP government in Punjab earlier this month, saying law and order in the state had “collapsed” after “one government” was formed, and suggested it “wake up” and do something about it .

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